McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is confident the team can bring regular upgrades to the car over the course of this season, despite the financial blow incurred by the team during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Seidl also confirmed that upgrades would be coming to the car for the opening round in Austria this weekend and that the team will be able to develop ongoing upgrades while getting ready for the switch to Mercedes power in 2021.
Speaking in a video call with media on Tuesday, Seidl affirmed that a plan was already put in motion in order to ensure that the 2020 car had developments coming as well as the preparation for the switch next season, despite the recent staff furlough and job losses.
“The financial challenges we were in, and also with the measures we took in place quite early on with the pay cuts and the furlough, which was in parallel with the shutdown, to be honest, didn’t really affect our output for this year or for next year,” Seidl said.
“We are on course with the plan we set out over the winter. We are planning to bring updates regularly from Austria onwards on the car, and at the same time we are flat out in getting next year’s car ready with the biggest topic being the integration of the Mercedes power unit.”
Seidl also expressed his delight at how the team are managing its recent financial problems, saying that the 'cautious' approach taken by McLaren was the best way to get through the current issues.
It was revealed earlier this week that McLaren had secured £150 million in refinancing from the National Bank of Bahrain in order to help keep the company afloat.
Seidl also noted that spending on major infrastructures, such as the new wind tunnel being proposed by the team, will be on hold for the near future as a means to help as much as possible.
“At the beginning of this crisis we simply had to put on hold all the infrastructure projects we were working on,” Seidl added.
“Even now, not knowing exactly how the income will look like during this year, we are still cautious there, and simply have to wait until we have the green light there again.
“As you can imagine I’m pushing hard to get these different infrastructure measures in place again as quickly as possible. We all know this will be key in our journey back to the front in Formula 1 as we have a deficit there compared to the top teams.
I’m quite optimistic once we are through this crisis we get back on track with our infrastructure as well.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing